So, if you were up with me last night you had to deal with a lot of obnoxious Tweetings about the Tony’s.
I couldn’t help it, I tell you. I tweet, therefore I am. I got all twittery when the Les Mis cast started us out, and then.. Sting! and LL Cool J rapping the Music Man! (for real, I’m not kidding, he did.) And nobody messed up Idina Menzel’s name!
And Alan Cummings had that delicious accent all over the place. And his weird, zebra-ish suit.
Why, you ask, Why Momsie do you get so worked UP about this show?
Well, I’ll tell you.
When I got my first teaching gig a few years ago, I was all young and enthusiastic and rather, um, overly eager shall we say to get into a classroom and get GOING with the teaching career. So, I accepted a job teaching English, yes, my major and all.
(*cough but also debate forensics and drama all areas that I had absolutely NO idea how to teach, or certification in, or any clue about whatsoever.)
Now, before the lawyer gets all in a hizzy, I will tell you this:
I DID pursue certification in those areas. I did. But for the two years or so of my first dip in the pool of Real Employment as a Real Teacher and All…? I was completely out of my element.
Fish outta water.
Flopping around on the shore with some lesson plans and a lot of idealistic, um, ideas, and not a lot else.
Except: I had a whole lotta free time, and I really loved teaching. So there’s that. And I had learned a very valuable lesson from my dad –
Just act AS IF you know what in the heck you are doing, and everyone else will totally buy it. And after a while? You will too.
My first production was You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I broke every rule possible. I wrote in parts, added musical numbers, (sorry copyright – please don’t arrest me. I know better now, but back then I think I just had the idea that since I was the director I could adjust as needed. I have now learned that adjusting scripts that are already written? NOT LEGAL. It’s like wearing a bad bra that you keep having to adjust the straps on. If the bra doesn’t fit, get a different one. Don’t keep tugging. And yes, I did just compare Charles Schulz’s and Clark Gesner’s awesome musical to undergarments. This is typical for Momsie. Classy broad.)
Even though I was a complete imposter, and also that I was basically walking the line between teacher director and illicit rebel of the copyright, I’m still glad I choose Charlie Brown, even with all my tinkering. I think my doghouse for Snoopy was dangerously leaning for quite a bit of each production but this just added dramatic suspense (Will Snoopy survive the next musical number? Stay tuned!) and…
People came. They clapped at the end.
My cast had a great time.
Even though Snoopy had developed a nervous tic by the end of each show.
So I stayed up late and watched every bit of the Tony’s. I even got my toddlers in on the act (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? SEE IT?) at least until the saucy Cabaret number then we started up for the world’s quickest bedtime routine (set to music. I sang ’em to sleep with “Do You Hear the People Sing.” Or… maybe they just played dead, so I would stop.)
I love the Tony’s. Pretty things – shows with songs and dance, or plays with heroics and tragedy – they’re, well, they’re pretty but some would say they’re ephemeral. Not important. Not practical. I disagree. They fill us up with life and meaning – a straight shot of ART for Art’s sake. And that is why they are so necessary.
We need to embrace and appreciate beauty in this world – not for its uses or its lessons… Sometimes we just need to stop, sit, and take in a play and enjoy it for no other reason than it feeds our soul with sweet things. I feel the same way about trees and mountains. But I think plays and books and paintings the human trying to create a mountain of her own. Sometimes it works, sometimes our Snoopy doghouse sways with each chorus, but still, we tried. Like taking a break from your day and staring out the window while you eat a chocolate chip cookie warm from the oven. That kind of action is necessary in daily living or we desiccate. Warm chocolate chips and the sweet sounds of “Happiness” are an antidote for daily living.